Tuesday, July 5

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card review: A great welcome bonus and an anniversary free night certificate for a reasonable annual fee


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Regular APR

15.99% – 22.99% Variable

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Featured Reward

3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Annual free night reward for hotels that cost up to 35,000 points can be worth more than annual fee
    Cons
    • The only lucrative bonus category is participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
    • Upgrading to Gold status requires spending $35,000 on the card in an account year,
    • Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories.
    • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
    • Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.
    • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
    • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.

    Read Our Review
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    Review: Is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless the best card for you?

    The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is a good option if you want to earn Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases without paying a premium-level annual fee. (The premium Marriott credit card is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, which offers an annual statement credit and comes with a $450 annual fee (See Rates).)

    It doesn’t hurt that the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is currently offering 3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months.

    The card’s value doesn’t stop at the welcome offer, though. Considering that award nights at Marriott Bonvoy properties start at just 5,000 points during off-peak dates, the points you’ll earn by using this card on a regular basis can help you book more award stays down the line.

    Read more: The best Marriott credit cards — whether you want basic points earning or elite status and other luxury perks

    One of the card’s best perks is the annual free night certificate cardholders receive every card anniversary. It’s valid at Marriott hotels that cost up to 35,000 points per night, and if you use it at pricey higher-category hotels, it’s easy to get a value that far exceeds the annual fee. 

    You also get automatic Silver elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program, along with no foreign transaction fees and a broad selection of travel insurance benefits.

    Comparison: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless vs other Marriott cards

    *Bonus points at Marriott hotels are in addition to the points members would normally earn from a stay

    ***the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card offers an annual free night award each year after your account anniversary for participating Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 35,000 points

    ****the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers an annual free night award each year after your account anniversary for participating Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 50,000 points

    Marriott Bonvoy Boundless vs other hotel cards

    *Bonus points at Marriott, Hilton, and IHG hotels are in addition to the points members would normally earn from a stay

    ***the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card offers an annual free night award each year after your account anniversary for participating Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 35,000 points

    *****the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers an annual free night award each year after your account anniversary for participating IHG properties that cost up to 40,000 points

    How to redeem Marriott points 

    Earning points in the Marriott Bonvoy program paves the way for free hotel stays at more than 7,000 participating properties worldwide. Category 1 standard rooms start at just 7,500 points per night (5,000 points for off-peak dates), while a mid-tier Category 5 property will set you back 35,000 points per night.

    Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Marriott Bonvoy points — from luxury resort stays to dozens of airline partners, you can’t beat the flexibility

    The highest-tier Marriott Bonvoy properties, or Category 8, on the other hand, come in at 85,000 points per night for a standard room. Also, keep in mind that you get a fifth night free when you use points to book four consecutive free nights. Cash and points options are also available, and they let you book a night at a discount with a cash copay.

    Another benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy program is that you don’t have to redeem points for free nights. There are other options available, including transferring points to over 40 airline partners, redeeming for gift cards and rental cars, and more. You can even redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for experiences like concerts and events, and Marriott also offers hotel and air packages that include free nights and airline miles.

    Benefits and features

    The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card comes with a host of benefits and travel perks.

    Anniversary free night award

    Each year after your account anniversary, you’ll earn a free night award that you can redeem at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 35,000 points. This lets you book at Marriott hotels that fall in Category 1-5, excluding Category 5 properties when peak pricing applies.

    Read more: The best ways to use a Marriott Bonvoy 35,000-point free night certificate — from upscale beach destinations to luxury international hotels

    Depending on how you use the free night reward each year, you can get a value that can easily cancel out the card’s annual fee.

    Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status

    You’ll receive automatic Silver elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program just for being a cardholder. Silver elite status comes with 10% bonus points on paid stays, priority late checkout, and free Wi-Fi. 

    Read more: 8 credit cards that get you elite hotel status just by having them in your wallet

    The points bonus is probably the most valuable benefit here. If you pay with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card, you’ll earn up to 17 points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties — 10 points as a loyalty member, 1 additional point as a Silver Elite member, and 6 points for paying with your credit card.

    The card also offers a path to Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status after you spend $35,000 or more on the card in a year.

    15 elite night credits toward status each calendar year

    Each cardmember year, you’ll get 15 elite night credits toward Marriott Bonvoy elite status. 

    These credits count toward the next level of elite status, whether you’re working toward Marriott Bonvoy Gold (by staying 25 qualifying nights in a year) or you’ve already qualified through Gold and are working toward Platinum (which requires 50 qualifying nights in a year). 

    Lost luggage reimbursement

    When you pay for your fare with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card and the carrier damages or loses your bags, you and your immediate family members could be covered for up to $3,000 per passenger. 

    Baggage delay insurance

    If your bags are delayed for six hours or more, you could be reimbursed for essential purchases (like clothing and toiletries) up to $100 per day for up to five days.

    Trip delay insurance

    If you paid for your ticket with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card and your trip is delayed overnight or by more than 12 hours, you and your immediate family can get reimbursed for up to $500 per passenger for meals and accommodations.

    Purchase protection

    If an eligible item you’ve bought with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card is damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase, you could be eligible for up to $500 in reimbursement per claim, and up to $50,000 per account.

    Visa Signature concierge

    The Visa Signature concierge can help you arrange things like hard-to-get restaurant reservations or theater tickets. It doesn’t cost anything to use the service, but any third-party costs are your responsibility.

    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months

    Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Annual free night reward for hotels that cost up to 35,000 points can be worth more than annual fee
    Cons
    • The only lucrative bonus category is participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
    • Upgrading to Gold status requires spending $35,000 on the card in an account year,
    • Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories.
    • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
    • Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.
    • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
    • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.

    Read Our Review
    Read Our ReviewA looong arrow, pointing right

    Fees and costs

    The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless has an annual fee of $95, and no foreign transaction fees.

    As long as you pay your bill in full each month, you can avoid other fees with this card. If you do carry a balance, there’s an APR of  15.99% – 22.99% Variable. Avoid carrying a balance at all costs — it can damage your financial health by having a negative impact on your credit score, and you’ll accrue interest charges quickly, which can only make matters worse.

    Other Marriott Bonvoy Boundless fees include:

    • Balance transfer fee: 5% of the transfer, with a $5 minimum
    • Cash-advance fee: 5% of the cash advance, with a $10 minimum

    If you need a card that offers a period of interest-free financing, check out our guide to the best credit cards with 0% intro APR offers.

    Consider flexible rewards credit cards, too

    While you should consider all the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards available today before you choose one, also remember that you can earn points that transfer to the Marriott Bonvoy program with travel rewards cards that earn transferable points.

    Both Amex Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio, so you have a lot of options.

    Read more: Amex and Chase points are the two most valuable types of credit card rewards — here are their biggest differences

    American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards points include:

    • The Platinum Card® from American Express
      : Earn 75,000 points after you spend at least $5,000 in your first 6 months of card membership
    • American Express® Gold Card
      : Earn 60,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 6 months of account opening
    • American Express® Green Card
      : Earn 30,000 points after you spend at least $2,000 in your first 3 months of account opening

    As far as Chase cards go, you can earn transferable Ultimate Rewards points with the following cards:

    For that reason, Amex or Chase cards are often a good complement to credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points. You can transfer points over any time you’re short for a redemption you want.

    Read more: Chase Sapphire Preferred card review

    You can even use credit cards that earn transferable Chase or Amex points to earn more rewards in specific categories so you can transfer them to Marriott Bonvoy later. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you 3x points on travel and dining, which is better than you’ll get in those categories with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card.

    Holly Johnson is a credit card expert, award-winning writer, and mother of two who is obsessed with frugality, budgeting, and travel.



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